Differentiated instruction is essential in today’s classrooms. Through qualitative case study methods, this study investigated differentiated instruction in one fourth-grade classroom. Participants of this study included 1 fourth grade classroom teacher, Mrs. Shirley, and 21 students (all names are pseudonyms). Results reveal that classroom literacy practices, both differentiated and non-differentiated, are essential in creating a classroom community of practice to build literacy learning skills. One differentiated practice, a small flexible group called the priority group, allowed the teacher to quickly attend to student’s who did not understand a literacy skill presented in the un-differentiated mini lesson. During these small groups, Mrs. Shirley scaffolded literacy learning using both low levels and high levels of support to help students learn the classroom literacy skills. Through formative assessment and scaffolding, Mrs. Shirley was able to carefully monitor her student’s literacy learning. Finally, students shared their perspectives of fairness, interpreted through procedural and distributive justice, by evaluating if the differentiated practice of guided reading (GR) groups were fair. High achieving students thought GR groups were fair because Mrs. Shirley had created the groups based off of reading level, average achieving and low achieving students largely thought that GR groups were fair because struggling kids needed help. Finally, students receiving special education services did not think that GR groups were fair because the groups disrupted them their concentration and learning routines.
|Advisor:||Puzio, Kelly, Kelley, Jane E.|
|School:||Washington State University|
|Department:||Language and Literacy Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Washington|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education, Elementary education, Teacher education, Reading instruction|
|Keywords:||Differentiated instruction, Flexible groups, Guided reading, Literacy|
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